1998 winners to face either England or Croatia in Sunday’s final in Moscow
Last Updated: 10/07/18 11:38pm
Didier Deschamps issued a warning that France will continue to “climb mountains” after reaching the World Cup final.
Samuel Umtiti’s second-half header was enough for France as they overcame Belgium 1-0 in Saint Petersburg to reach world football’s showpiece event for the third time.
England or Croatia stand between the 1998 winners and a second world crown, but France will be favourites to lift the trophy in Moscow on Sunday.
Deschamps told FIFA.com: “My players’ progress is huge. The players today are going to be even stronger in two years’ time and in four years’ time, but today they are already competitive.
“We don’t do everything right but of course there is a progression. I’m very proud of them.
“I’m very proud of their mentality as well because I know it’s not just that you are playing at a high level that you are going to score goals but with our state of mind we can climb mountains and that’s what we’ve done so far.”
Deschamps, who led the nation to victory at France ’98, is bidding to become just the third man after Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer to win the World Cup as both player and coach, but is refusing to look back to his own triumph as a player in 1998.
He added: “I never, never, never, ever mention my own history. They know it. Some of them were not born, but they have seen pictures.
“That belongs to a lot of French people who lived through it, but not to the young generation. The story is different now, you can’t make comparisons. I can’t talk to them about players from 20 years ago, even from 10 years ago.
“I am here with them today to write a new page in history, the most beautiful page.
“I’m not saying that I’m not proud of what we did all together 20 years ago. It will stay there, nobody will be able to erase that, but you have to live in your times.
“We can’t really look back and see what is in the rear-view mirror. This is not how you are going to move forward.”
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